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WORKER DISCOUNT SALE at The Hub Bike Co-Op

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Beginning Aug. 5th, 2009, The Hub Bike Co-Op is having an extraordinary sale. You are able to purchase select, in-store 2009 models of bikes at the same price we, the workers at The Hub, pay.

Bikes from Giant, Bianchi, Marin, Orbea, Civia, Vicious and Redline are all priced from 10%-30% off our normal low prices.

If you’ve been waiting for prices to come down before you bought your new bike, WAIT NO LONGER!

Here are just a few examples of the ridiculously low prices:


Bianchi Pista was $699.99; NOW $489.99


Bianchi San Jose was $799.99; NOW $559.99


Bianchi Parco was $519.99; NOW $363.99


Redline 925 (our best selling bike!) was $579.99; NOW $405.99


Vicious Casual Agent was $2399.99; NOW $1679.99


Civia Hyland Alfine was $2160.99; NOW $1512.69


Marin Muirwoods 29er was $629.99; NOW $440.99


Marin Alpine Trail was $729.99; NOW $510.99

AND MANY MANY MORE.
All New Bikes Receive The Hub Bike Co-Op’s Exclusive CUSTOMER CARE PACKAGE, as well as 10-15% off all accessories for up to a month from the date of purchase!

This sale is going on at both locations of The Hub Bike Co-Op
3020 Minnehaha Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
612-729-0437
and
301 Cedar Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55454
612-238-3593

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Saftey In Numbers

From today’s Star Tribune:

Although recent fatalities highlight the risks of sharing the road, statistics show there have actually been fewer bicycle crashes and injuries in Minnesota — at a time when more people are riding bikes.

By BILL McAULIFFE, Star Tribune

A string of recent bicycle deaths may make Minnesota seem like a dangerous place for cyclists. But in fact, the safety trend is going the other way as more Minnesotans take to their bikes.

How could that be when the number of deaths this year from bicycle crashes is on pace to supersede the toll in 2008 — when 14 deaths were the most in eight years?

A closer look reveals that the numbers of both bicycle crashes and injuries are down statewide, even as the number of bicyclists is increasing.

There’s safety in those numbers, some say, because it makes drivers constantly aware they’re sharing the road with bicyclists.

“I believe we’re in a state of rapid change, with the number of people using bikes for transportation,” said Tim Springer, executive director for the Midtown Greenway, likely the most popular bicycle commuter corridor in Minnesota.

“Everybody’s on a learning curve — bicyclists and motorists. Fast-forward 10 years and we’ll have a lot more of it figured out. Laws will be different, and behaviors will be different on all sides,” Springer said.

“But it means that in the meantime, we all need to be really careful,” he added. “Things are unclear.”

Cycling swells in Minneapolis

Crashes and injuries are down markedly in Minneapolis, where the number of people who use bikes for transportation continues to swell.

The Midtown Greenway saw a 24 percent increase in ridership in the first four months of this year, compared to the same period of 2008. Ridership from March through December last year was up 32 percent over the same period the year before, said Shaun Murphy, coordinator of a nonmotorized transportation pilot program for the city.

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Is This Heaven?

No, It’s Vauban, Germany

From The New York Times

Residents of this upscale community are suburban pioneers, going where few soccer moms or commuting executives have ever gone before: they have given up their cars.

Street parking, driveways and home garages are generally forbidden in this experimental new district on the outskirts of Freiburg, near the French and Swiss borders. Vauban’s streets are completely “car-free” — except the main thoroughfare, where the tram to downtown Freiburg runs, and a few streets on one edge of the community. Car ownership is allowed, but there are only two places to park — large garages at the edge of the development, where a car-owner buys a space, for $40,000, along with a home.

As a result, 70 percent of Vauban’s families do not own cars, and 57 percent sold a car to move here. “When I had a car I was always tense. I’m much happier this way,” said Heidrun Walter, a media trainer and mother of two, as she walked verdant streets where the swish of bicycles and the chatter of wandering children drown out the occasional distant motor.

Be still my heart.

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In The News

If we haven’t hit bottom, there can’t be far to go.

Twin Cities-area home price drop was nation’s largest

By SUSAN FEYDER, Star Tribune

Last update: May 27, 2009 – 12:06 AM

Twin Cities area home prices dropped sharply again in March as buyers continued to take advantage of bargains on distressed properties, according to a widely read gauge of U.S. home sales.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller national home price index reported Tuesday that home sale prices in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area fell 6.1 percent from February. That’s the largest monthly decline of any metro area in the 21-year history of the benchmark. The average monthly decline for 20 major markets was 2.2 percent. Charlotte, N.C., and Denver managed to show slight month-to-month increases, while prices in Dallas were unchanged from February to March.

The year-over-year decline from March 2008 for the Twin Cities was 23.3 percent, according to S&P. That was steeper than the 18.7 percent average drop for the 20 major markets, but not as significant as some metropolitan areas such as Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Francisco, where prices fell by more than 30 percent from a year ago.

David Blitzer, chairman of S&P’s index committee, said researchers believe the sharp monthly price decline in the Twin Cities area was caused by an unusually large number of foreclosure-related sales. Steve Havig, president of the Mineapolis Area Association of Realtors, agreed.

“There has been a large inventory of properties that has gone on the market in lender-mediated sales,” Havig said. In March they accounted for 60.5 percent and in April for 46 percent of homes sold in the Twin Cities area, he said.

Havig said his association believes it will take one to two years to work through the inventory of distressed properties in the Twin Cities area.

“The pricing has been very aggressive. We’re now beginning to see multiple offers on some of these lender-mediated sales — so much that it’s actually starting to push prices up somewhat,” Havig said. He said the association believes local prices could bottom out in the next month or so.

All this is accurate. Well priced home, even “destressed properties are garnering multiple offers withing hours of hitting the market.

You gotta be ready to move fast.

If you’re ready, give me a call.

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Have We Hit The Bottom Yet?

This Article was in the Star-Tribune today:

North Side home sale clears nothing but the books

Last update: March 30, 2009 – 11:59 PM

The market for foreclosed and stripped houses has gotten so bad on the North Side of Minneapolis that lenders are walking away from some closings barely clearing any money when they unload a house.

Just ask real estate agent Scott Ficek. He represented investors at a closing Friday at which the lender walked away with a grand total of $69.60.

That’s because normal closing costs plus city assessments against the property at 1914 Russell Av. N. nearly ate up the entire $12,500 sales price.

Ficek said he’s seen banks walk away with as little as a couple thousand dollars before, but he found this closing so unusual that he featured it on his real estate blog. “This one happened to catch my eye,” he said.

Get ready for more, said neighborhood activist Roberta Englund, who tracks North Side real estate patterns. She said she knows of more than 30 houses in the two north Minneapolis ZIP codes listed for less than $30,000. “I think in many cases the banks are clearing nothing except their books,” she said.

The squeezed margins come after banks already have discounted sales prices heavily. The three-bedroom Russell Avenue house sold for $189,900 early in 2006. But after a year and half on the market, it had been stripped of its copper pipes and its radiators. It was listed for $35,300 when Ficek approached the agent representing owner Fannie Mae. He offered a mere $8,000.

Ficek had a powerful negotiating tool on his side. The city already had assessed $6,000 against the house, which represented an unpaid fee from 2008 that the city imposes on houses registered as vacant and boarded. With the same fee due to be imposed next month for 2009, Fannie Mae had a strong incentive to unload the house now.

There is a lot of this going on right now.

I’ve working with a few cash buyer/investors who are looking at homes at prices that would have been unimaginable just two years ago (think $25,000 for a “habitable” home), bidding lower then asking prices and getting it.

Banks can’t be clearing anything on these deals, just getting these properties off their books, and avoiding further fees from the city on boarded-up properties.

I’ve seen investors update these homes, which in the case of a boarded house means EVERYTHING has to be brought up to code (a  tall order in a century plus old home), and turning it for over a $100,000 more then what they bought it for.

Some of these homes are gorgeous, even before they are renovated, but the work involved in replacing all the plumbing and electrical can be daunting.

Tread cautiously.

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Busy, Busy, Busy….

Things have really ramped up with the warmer weather.

I showed over 40 homes last week. It’s amazing the varying states of upgrades (and habitability) that homes in the same price range can have.

Remember, I’m never too busy for your questions or referrals.

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Help Save Cyclo-Cross in Minneapolis

From Joel Cahalan at The Hub Bike Co-Op:

Help save cyclocross in Minneapolis Parks!
For the past three years The Hub Bike Co-op has sponsered a highly attended cyclocross race at Powderhorn Park in south Minneapolis. This year we are having trouble securing a permit for the race due claimed damage to the park. We need folks to attend this Wednesday’s Park Board meeting to show support for keeping cyclocross racing in Minneapolis parks and specifically at Powderhorn Park. Besides having some supports at the meeting we need a people who are willing to stand up and speak for 2-3 minutes about why it is important to keep the cyclocross race at Powderhorn. If you live in the park vicinity and or feel strongly about this please contact me about signing up to speak(Joel Cahalan 612-203-5280(cell), 612-729-0437(shop)). I will have some talking points put together and emailed out before the meeting. To speak you must be signed up by 3pm the day of the meeting. The meeting starts at 5pm with time for us to speak at 5:30. It is located at:

MPRB Administrative Offices, Board Room Suite 255
Address: 2117 West River Road
Minneapolis
Map and Directions
Do It!

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